Cajun Chicken Pasta

This Cajun Chicken Pasta is a perfect mix of spicy and creamy. Blackened chicken makes this pasta recipe really stand out and will become one of your go-to comfort foods!

Chicken Pasta on a fork with a craft beer in the background

Oh, hello spicy. Nice to see you. There was a time that I didn’t hold such an affinity for you, and that makes me sad. Thankfully I am back to your side. Especially after enjoying a big plate of pasta, creamy sauce, crunchy peppers, and so much spicy goodness. This recipe for Cajun Chicken Pasta is ready to put the spice back into life.

What beer pairs well with Cajun Pasta with Chicken?

The beer: Amber from Abita.

With spicy you don’t want overwhelming. Spicy chicken plus spicy sauce PLUS carbs…you want something that isn’t trying to fight with all the goodness of this dish so a pale ale like an amber is the perfect compliment.

A closeup of Cajun Chicken Pasta on a plate

What TV series pairs well with a spicy pasta dish?

Since in our house anything featuring Danny McBride cannot be missed, Righteous Gemstones is where it’s at this Mitten Movie Night. What a wild ride this show it. Funny but still with LOTS of WTF moments.

How to make Cajun Chicken Pasta:

I REALLY think that the key to this easy pasta recipe is the blackened chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with lots of Cajun seasoning then cooking it until crispy on the outside but juicy on the outside. That is what makes it meld so perfectly with this creamy pasta.

To achieve blackened chicken perfection it’s all about coating, frying, then taking it off at just the right moment. See the below example: I hate to brag, but yeah, that’s how you do it.

Blackened chicken that has been cooked on a cutting board

First, cut the chicken breasts in half. I try to cut mine to about 2-3 inches in the middle, no more. I want these to cook quick and stay juicy. The thicker they are, the longer they take to cook.

Sprinkle each side with 1 Tbs Cajun Seasoning.

To a shallow rimmed pan add oil. Let the pan heat up then place the chicken in the pan. Cook 4-5 minutes then flip. Cook 4-5 additional minutes depending on the thickness of the cut. *Make a cut in the thickest part of the chicken breast to make sure that it has cooked through. If not, return to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes per side.

While the chicken is cooking, add the fettucini to a pot and boil according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water for the sauce.

Next, chop the red and green peppers, onions and mince the garlic.

Once the chicken has cooked, remove and place on a cutting board. Slice the chicken.

Sliced blackened chicken

In the same pan that you cooked the chicken, leaving the heat on medium, add 1 Tbs butter and let melt. Once the butter is melted add the sliced peppers, onions, and garlic and sautee. Cook for 5 minutes to soften but allowing them to still stay crunchy.

Add the flour, stirring the ingredients together, then slowly add 1/4 cup reserved water* from the fettucini. *I have found that using the pasta water when making a cream sauce stretches the sauce out without making it clumpy.

Next, add the heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and 1 Tbs Cajun seasoning.

Parmesan cheese being added to a pan on the stove

Finally to the pan, add the drained cooked pasta. Top with the reserved green onions and jalapenos.

Like adding jalapenos to food? Try these recipes that are better with the spicy stuff on top:

I like to use tongs to combine everything together and then to serve. And here you are……

An overhead shot of Cajun Chicken Pasta in a pan ready to serve

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Print Recipe
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Cajun Chicken Pasta has crispy blackened chicken, spicy and creamy sauce, crunchy peppers then topped off with jalapenos and green onions. One-pan comfort food with a kick!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken breasts in half.
  2. Sprinkle each side with 1 Tbs Cajun Seasoning.
  3. To a shallow rimmed pan add oil. Let the pan heat up then place the chicken in the pan. Cook 4-5 minutes then flip. Cook 4-5 additional minutes depending on the thickness of the cut.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, add the fettucini to a pot and boil according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water for the sauce.
  5. Next, chop the red and green peppers, onions and mince the garlic.
  6. Once the chicken has cooked, remove and place on a cutting board. Slice the chicken.
  7. In the same pan that you cooked the chicken, leaving the heat on medium, add 1 Tbs butter and let melt. Once the butter is melted add the sliced peppers, onions, and garlic and sautee. Cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the flour, stirring the ingredients together, then slowly add 1/4 cup reserved water from the fettucini.
  9. Next, add the heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and 1 Tbs Cajun seasoning.
  10. Finally to the pan, add the drained cooked pasta.
  11. Top with the reserved green onions and jalapenos. Enjoy!

Smoked Sausage Nachos

Crispy tortilla chips, smoked sausage, a mix of peppers and onions drowned in beer cheese sauce. For the main dish or easy appetizer, Smoked Sausage Nachos are not your ordinary finger food.

Overhead shot of Smoked Sausage Nachos with a craft beer off to the side.

I was looking around from some Midwest favorites to remake for Mitten Movie Night. That’s when I came across this article: 52 Comfort Foods All Midwesterners Know. Even as a Midwesterner, there were loads of recipes in here I had never even heard of. One that immediately jumped out to me on the list was Beer and Brat Nachos from Taste of Home.

A NACHO RECIPE LOADED WITH MEAT THEN COVERED IN BEER CHEESE? Yeah, that sounds good. In my Smoked Sausage Nachos, I swapped out the bratwurst and made it even simpler with cooked smoked sausage. Made a simple recipe for beer cheese sauce and we are on our way to tasty town.

A close up of nachos with toppings on it.

This week is a “celebration’ of sorts on the blog! It’s the first time that I get to show off what I’ve been up to besides the blog.

A few months back I was asked if I would be interested in writing recipe and craft beer pairings for an area magazine, Michiana Life. Having this honor really felt like Bottom Left of the Mitten is not only online but also reaching out to local readers too!

I had been struggling lately with the decision to rebrand the blog name for a larger audience, but this just made me realize that sticking with what I started with was the right move.

A copy of Michigan Life magazine and an open copy behind it.

This week is also 3 months at my new job! The new year had me doing some real soul searching. After the better part of 10 years working from home as a virtual assistant, I decided that I really needed an outside focus for myself.

Working from home can be lonely and frustrating. Long hours paired with long winters and work always beckoning from the sleeping laptop even when you want to focus on other things. It’s rough. Since Little A started school in the Fall I felt like this was a great time to look for a part-time job.

So with resume in hand, I jumped at the chance to apply for a job at our local library, and happily got it! I couldn’t have asked for a better position. It gets me out of the house while still affording me time to work on my virtual assistant business and blog. Bonus, I get to be around books all day.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King in On Writing (print from InkInTheOzarks)

I’ve always been an avid reader so I thought this would be a great time to add another entertainment aspect of the blog and start adding book recommendations along with movies and TV shows. So let’s get started on these Smoke Sausage Nachos!

—-> Let’s follow each other on GoodReads! <——-

What book pairs well with beer and nachos smothered in beer cheese?

The book: No Exit by Taylor Adams.

Holy smokes, this book is a thrill ride from beginning to end. I could not put it down and you won’t want to either.

The book No Exit by Taylor Adams

What craft beer pairs well with Smoke Sausage Nachos?

The beer: Larry’s Fruit Flight from Bell’s

The fruity notes and lime pair so well with not only the smoky sausage but the warm weather that is finally here!

How to make Smoked Sausage Nachos:

The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is! Let’s start with the beer cheese sauce.

For this I used a recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, The Chunky Chef. This Creamy Beer Cheese Sauce turned out great using Yuengling.

Steps and ingredients for making beer cheese sauce and nachos.

Start the rest of the nacho recipe by chopping the smoked sausage, peppers and onions.

In a pan heat up 1 tsp olive oil then sautee the sausage, peppers, and onions until the peppers and onions are cooked, around 6-8 minutes.

On a sheet pan spread out the tortilla chips. Add the sausage and peppers over the top.

Finally, pour the beer cheese sauce over the top. Add more chopped peppers and cilantro if you wish. Serve immediately.

Looking for more Sausage & Beer pairings?

And here you are……

Overhead shot of Smoked Sausage Nachos with Bells Larrys Fruit Fight off to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Print Recipe
Smoke Sausage Nachos
Layers of tortilla chips, smoked sausage, peppers, and onions are smothered in beer cheese sauce. Smoked Sausage Nachos make a great appetizer or main dish.
Smoked Sausage Nachos | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Smoked Sausage Nachos | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. For the beer cheese sauce: I used a recipe from, The Chunky Chef. I used Yuengling for the beer.
  2. Chop the smoked sausage, peppers and onions.
  3. In a pan heat up 1 tsp olive oil then sautee the sausage, peppers, and onions until the peppers and onions are cooked, around 6-8 minutes.
  4. On a sheet pan spread out the tortilla chips. Add the sausage and peppers over the top.
  5. Finally, pour the beer cheese sauce over the top. Add more chopped peppers and cilantro if you wish. Serve immediately.

Tyler Florence’s Chicken & Sausage Etouffee

Chicken and Sausage Etouffee has spicy andouille sausage, chicken and a simple sauce that comes together to make one spectacular dish.

Tyler Florence's Chicken & Sausage Etouffee | Bottom Left of the Mitten

This Mitten Movie Night is the first in July!  Did you have a good 4th?  Last week instead of Mitten Movie Night I posted my Best BBQ Sauce recipe for #CookoutWeek.  It was an honor to be a part of it.

Tonight I am making a chicken and sausage etouffee recipe that I watched Tyler Florence make on The Food Network years ago when I was just getting into cooking.  It sounded great so I made it and have been loving it ever since.

What beer pairs well with Etouffee?

The beer: Bell’s Oberon.

Fun Fact: Oberon’s release is celebrated with ‘Oberon Day’…what a World we live in!  Check out all their other release dates here.

What movie is great to pair with spicy food and craft beer?

We are watching What We Do In The Shadows.  It came on Netflix and we started watching a little of it then decided to save it for tonight.  What I did see was hilarious and I don’t think you can go wrong with a ‘documentary’ about Vampires living together.  That’s my kind of humor.

Tyler Florence's Chicken & Sausage Etouffee | Bottom Left of the Mitten

If I described this dish in one word it would be ‘simple’.  However, using that word would lead you to believe that the flavor is pretty basic too-nope. Wrong.  If you’re looking for an easy meal with lots of flavors this is it.

How to make Chicken & Sausage Etouffee:

Start by chopping the chicken into pieces.  Sautee in a pan with a 2 teaspoons of the oil for about 5 minutes.

Chop the sausage then add to the pan.  Cook for another 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and sausage is crisp.

While the meat is cooking take the pepper, onion, garlic cloves and celery and add to a food processor.  Chop items until they are small and well combined.

Remove the cooked chicken and sausage from the pan.

Tyler Florence's Chicken & Sausage Etouffee | Bottom Left of the Mitten

To the same pan add chicken stock and the processed vegetables.  Start cooking over medium/high heat.

Add the chicken and sausage back to the pot.  Let the stock reduce by half until it makes a smooth sauce.

Want more Bell’s Brewery food and beer pairings?

Serve over rice and maybe a side of Hone-Jalapeno Cornbread.  And here you are……

Tyler Florence's Chicken & Sausage Etouffee | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

InstagramMMN

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Tyler Florence's Chicken & Sausage Etouffee | Bottom Left of the Mitten #etouffee #chickenandsausage #chicken


Print Recipe


Tyler Florence's Chicken & Sausage Etouffee

Chicken and sausage Etouffee has spicy andouille sausage, chicken and a simple sauce that comes together to make one spectacular dish.

Tyler Florence's Chicken & Sausage Etouffee | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Tyler Florence's Chicken & Sausage Etouffee | Bottom Left of the Mitten


Instructions
  1. Start by chopping the chicken into pieces. Sautee in a pan with a 2 teaspoons of oil for about 5 minutes. Chop the sausage then add to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and sausage is crisp.

  2. Take the pepper, onion, garlic cloves and celery and add to a food processor. Chop items until they are small and well combined.

  3. Remove the cooked chicken and sausage from the pan.

  4. To the same pan add chicken stock and the processed vegetables. Start cooking over medium/high heat.

  5. Add the chicken and sausage back to the pot. Let the stock reduce by half until it make a smooth sauce. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles

Tender turkey meatballs filled with rice then added on top of a bed of zucchini noodles. Serve with chunky vegetables, spaghetti sauce, and Parmesan. Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles is the perfect dinner for when you are craving a different kind of Italian dish.

Porcupine Meatballs with Zoodles from Bottom Left of the Mitten

You know….I love carbs.  I L-O-V-E them.  Bread! Pasta! YUM! But I honestly don’t love them as much as I love zucchini.  Oh, zucchini!  Such a diverse veggie whether I fry it, put it in some muffins or making zoodles like these there are so many ways to make it delicious.  How about adding one of my families favorites to it? Yes! So now we have a new recipe to add to our dinner routine, Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles.

Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles | Bottom Left of the Mitten

It’s funny to think that this was one of the very first recipes that I put on my blog.  Looking back almost 8 months in I have realized how far I’ve come with my photos so I’m going through and giving them a fresher look.  And this one needed it….badly!  While the pictures were bad, I will give myself a little credit in the fact that I had basically 0.2% experience in photography.  So on to the recipe that got this all started only with better pictures.

How to make Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles:

First, let’s start off with the meatballs. You can use any beef flavor rice you like or even shake it up with different flavors but I always stick to the beef flavored as I find it gives the best taste.

Cook the rice according to package directions.

Once the rice has cooled add it to your turkey and egg.  Toast the bread and crush up into the meat mixture. Form into meatballs and put onto a greased baking sheet.

At this time preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Porcupine Meatball with Zoodles from Bottom Left of the Mitten

Prepare your ‘zoodles’ using a spiralizer.

Chop onions, garlic, green peppers.  Add all of it into a bowl then top with olive oil.

Put onto another baking sheet then put both the meatballs and the zoodles now go into the oven for 35 minutes.

In the last 5 minutes of the meatballs and zoodles cooking heat up the spaghetti sauce.

Assemble this beautiful ‘pasta’ by taking all the vegetables and zoodles, top with meatballs then finally pour sauce over the top of your meatballs.

Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Tips for making Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles:

  • Let the rice completely cool before adding to the meatball mixture. Not only could you burn your hands when mixing the meatballs together it could end up cooking the eggs.

And here you are….

Porcupine Meatballs with Zoodles from Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Instagram | Bottom Left of the Mitten

This recipe has been updated with photos & recipe.

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Porcupine Meatballs with Zoodles from Bottom Left of the Mitten

Print Recipe
Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles
Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles is a delicious dish when you are craving something other than pasta. Serve this dish for dinner tonight!
Porcupine Meatballs with Zoodles | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Porcupine Meatballs
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Porcupine Meatballs
Porcupine Meatballs with Zoodles | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Porcupine Meatballs
  1. Cook the rice according to package directions then…...and this is *Important*…let it cool!
  2. Once it’s cooled add it to your turkey, and egg. Toast the bread and crush up into the meat mixture. Form into meatballs and put onto greased baking sheet.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degree.
Zoodles
  1. Prepare zucchini 'zoodles' using a spirilizer. Chop onions, garlic, green peppers. Add all of it into a bowl then top with olive oil. Put onto another baking sheet.
  2. Both the meatballs and the zoodles now go into the oven for 35 minutes.
  3. In the last 5 minutes of the meatballs and zoodles cooking heat up the spaghetti sauce to pour over the top of your meatballs and zoodles.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Tips for making Porcupine Meatballs and Zoodles:

  • Let the rice completely cool before adding to the meatball mixture. Not only could you burn your hands when mixing the meatballs together it could end up cooking the eggs.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza #SundaySupper

Next time a craving for pizza takes over skip the local pizza place, forget the boxed cardboard frozen stuff and make your own!  Thick crust that is loaded with toppings, cheese and tomatoes.  Baked to gooey perfection.  Forget traditional crust and make this Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Bottom Left of the Mitten

Where we live we are about 2 hours from many major cities.  That means we can stay home or go visit Indianapolis, Detroit, Toledo (their craft beer scene is awesome~I highly suggest giving it a try) or Chicago.  While we don’t hit Chicago very often we were able for a time to get real deep dish at a Gino’s East location that they had about a half hour from us in Granger, Indiana.  Sadly though it closed.  So it was up to make the thick pizza that I loved so much!  Other than the sausage that comes on an authentic Gino’s East, which is amazing, I think I pulled it off a pretty good copycat.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Start off with your crust.  This recipe is very similar to my White Chicken Pizza with Basil & Blackberry Sauce with the exception of reducing the flour and adding cornmeal to the dough.  It gives it that crunchy texture that most deep dish pizzas have.  Gather your ingredients….

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Bottom Left of the Mitten

Mix yeast, water & honey together.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.  You should see bubbles are formed on the top of the water/yeast mixture.  Now add the flour, honey & salt to the yeast mixture.  Stir with a spatula then complete by hand. After it has formed a ball cover with 2 tsp. of olive oil.  Put a towel over the bowl and let rise for 15-20 minutes.

Once the dough has risen uncover and place on a floured surface.  Roll with a rolling pin to almost double the size of your pan so there is plenty to go around the deep edges of a greased springform pan.  Place the dough into the pan cinching edges as not to overlap over the top of the pan.  Brush crust with 2 Tbs. melted butter all over then place in a preheated 375 degree oven to bake for 8-10 minutes.  Take out of the oven and now it’s time to load it up!  Layer cheese, filling, more cheese then top with the drained tomatoes.  It’s very important that the tomatoes are drained because you don’t want the juice making your crust soggy.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Bottom Left of the Mitten

My filling is a combination of Italian sausage, hamburger, mushrooms, green peppers, olives, onions, garlic cloves mixed with Italian seasonings and tomato paste.  I will put the full ingredients below but this is your pizza please add whatever you like!  A great crust, lots of cheese and the crushed tomatoes really are what make a deep dish what it is.  A blank slate to add whatever toppings you like.  Once all your layers are on place in your oven that is already preheated at 375 degrees.  And here you are….

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Thank you Coleen of The Red Headed Baker for hosting this week! Need more pizza inspiration?  Here are 50+ more recipes to check out….

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Bottom Left of the Mitten

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Print Recipe
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Next time a craving for pizza takes over skip the local pizza place, forget the boxed cardboard frozen stuff and make your own! Thick crust that is loaded with toppings, cheese and tomatoes. Baked to gooey perfection.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Pizza
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Deep Dish Crust
Sausage Filling
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Pizza
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Deep Dish Crust
Sausage Filling
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Deep Dish Crust
  1. Mix yeast, water & honey together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes. Add flour, honey & salt to the yeast mixture. Stir with a spatula then complete by hand. After it has formed a ball cover with 2 tsp. of olive oil. Put a towel over the bowl and let rise for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Once the dough has risen uncover and place on a floured surface. Roll with a rolling pin to almost double the size of your pan so there is plenty to go around the deep edges of a greased springform pan. Place the dough into the pan cinching edges as not to overlap over the top of the pan. Brush crust with 2 Tbs. melted butter all over then place in a preheated 375 degree oven to bake for 8-10 minutes.
Sausage Filling
  1. Brown sausage and hamburger. Add onions, green peppers, olives, mushroom and garlic. Cook all together the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add in tomato paste, Italian herbs and sugar. Take off heat. Add to pizza in a thick layer.
  3. Take crust out of oven. Load with layers like this: -1/2 Cheese -Filling -Remaining Cheese -Drained tomatoes
  4. Once all your layers are on place in your oven that is already preheated at 375 degrees.
  5. Cut into 8 pieces and enjoy!

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